Submitted to: American Chemical Society National Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2004
Publication Date: August 22, 2004
Citation: Widmer, W.W. 2004. Health benefits of citrus polysaccharides. American Chemical Society National Meeting. Paper No. AGFD 143. Technical Abstract: Polysaccharides are macromolecules exhibiting a wide range of biological functions in health and disease prevention. Citrus pectin has long been known to reduce blood cholesterol levels through interactions in the small intestine. There has been speculation that because pectin increases the amount of colonic bile and short chain fatty acids, this could increase an individual's risk for colon cancer. However, increasing evidence indicates pectin and other polysaccharides are active in colon cancer prevention. Numerous animal studies have shown ingestion of modified and natural citrus pectins reduce tumor growth, angiogenesis and spontaneous metastasis for some cancers. While polysaccharides are not absorbed into the blood stream, citrus pectins contain some low molecular weight carbohydrates that are absorbed and may play a role in prevention. Recent literature on the effects of natural and modified citrus pectins in health and disease will be discussed.